Monday, June 20, 2011

Heidi Montag

Fourteen hours a day. That's how much Heidi Montag says she works out to hone her body to a state of bikini-ready perfection.
"I've been working out from, like, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. for two months now," the reality TV star told US Weekly. "I've been working out really hard because I had this pool party and I was like, 'I have to be in shape.'"
Montag, who gained notoriety after undergoing 10 cosmetic surgeries in 2009, said running and doing weights had helped her shed 27 pounds, bringing the 5'2" star's weight down from 130 to 103. She said she had taken a year off following the operations.
There's no doubt that exercise is healthier than being sedentary, and celebrities who get paid big bucks to look good may need to spend more time in the gym than average folks.
But 14 hours a day? What's that about?
Some people are addicted to exercise in much they same way that some are addicted to drugs, Dr. Marilyn Metzl, a clinical psychologist in Kansas City, Mo., told CBS News. She has no first-hand knowledge of Montag's situation.
And extreme workout regimens can also be evidence of a psychological problem, Dr. Sharon Chirban, a clinical psychologist at Harvard Medical School who has no first-hand knowledge of Montag's situation, told CBS News. Often, she said, extreme exercisers suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, severe anxiety, exercise bulimia, or body dysmorphia. That's a condition that causes people to have a distorted view of their own bodies, making them think they are fat or ugly, for example, when they look perfectly normal to other people.
No matter what the specific reason for working out to such extremes, Chirban said, "There's usually some major deficit in self-esteem."
And while long workouts might result in a killer body like Montag's, they often come with a significant downside.
Among the dangers is amenorrhea, in which women stop menstruating. In addition to infertility, that can lead to bone density problems. And sooner or later, extreme exercise can lead to so-called overuse injuries.
"Most of the compulsive exercisers I've worked with end up with an injury, and then everything falls apart because they can't exercise," Dr. Chirban said. "If you're working out 14 hours a day.

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